Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on March 16, 2012
A Modest Lacy Peach Blouse – McCalls 6399 Pattern Review
The sheer sleeves and ruffled ribbon make it so Victorian!
This feminine blouse was made using McCalls Pattern 6399, designed by Pati Palmer for the Palmer/Pletsch line of patterns. I have a fondness for Pati’s patterns, not only because I learned to sew at her school years ago, but also because her designs are specifically constructed to fit you perfectly (with a little tweaking). These patterns have lots of markings to make altering your pattern a breeze, along with incredibly detailed instructions.
But unlike most of the Palmer/Pletsch designs which are very classic, tailored, and perfect for business wear, this blouse is unabashed femininity at its finest!
With the sweetheart neckline, flattering tucks, and option for sheer sleeves, this blouse is the perfect top to wear for a dressy occasion. I made this top from a lovely peach rayon knit that has a subtle sheen to it, and for the sleeves I chose a piece of embroidered netting lace that I’d been saving with a project like this in mind. And since I can’t stand to leave my projects unembellished, I just had to add a ruffle of peach satin ribbon around the neckline. My favorite ribbon to use for gathering is the double-faced satin by Ampelco Ribbon Co. – I’ve tried many brands of ribbon for double ruffling, and this one ruffles most easily and is thin enough to maneuver without it getting too stiff.
In the back you can see the raglan sleeve styling.
I loved the added effect!
This ribbon looks almost like a Queen Anne collar, but scoops into a flowery frill just below the neckline in front. I also filled in the neckline with a small piece of the embroidered tulle to use up some of that gorgeous scalloped edging.
Here are the Victorian boots & "petticoat" skirt which several people asked about after the Diana Barry costume was finished.
As far as the sewing is concerned, this top came together quite easily. I had never seen any diagonal pleats/tucks exactly like these before, but I love the feminine look and the impressive chevron effect at the side seams. One of my favorite details is the tucks at the shoulders which ended up so very elegant with the embroidered tulle – it almost reminds me of a lace bolero for a wedding ensemble.
Here's the McCalls illustration for this beautiful pattern.
I cannot imagine a more elegant blouse to wear, and you could really pair it with slacks, a skirt, or even jeans. And for those of you who asked to see the Victorian petticoat and boots that were hidden underneath the Anne of Avonlea costume – here they are!
It was freezing outside!
I won’t claim that this skirt is completely accurate for an Edwardian petticoat, but I wanted to make something that could pass for either century. Below is a close-up of the material, which reminds me very distinctly of something you would see at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
This is some of my favorite fabric ever!
A Note About the Photo Shoot
First of all, there was snow on the ground when these photos were taken, and since I was wearing sheer sleeves in the freezing temperatures, my teeth were chattering so badly that I could hardly smile! Oh well.
What a glorious setting!
Secondly, that painting on the wall is one of my absolute favorites! It has been my desktop background for the last several months, and the original oil painting entitled simply “The Ball” was painted by Victor Gabriel Gilbert. It reminds me very much of the ball which Anne Shirley attended in Kingsport, only grander! So imagine my surprise when we showed up to have the pictures taken and there on the wall was my favorite picture!
My new favorite blouse...
Hope you’ve enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for some lovely vintage dresses soon!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on March 11, 2012
Liesl’s Dress Customer Photos
Hello Ladies! Here are some gorgeous pictures sent in by Joy who sewed a lovely dress from our Liesl’s Dancing Dress pattern. She writes, “Hello, Katrina! I love your Liesl dress pattern! I made it last year for my highschool graduation photos and wore it Easter Sunday to church.” Looking at these photographs, I’m sure she was the best-dressed person at her church!
What an ethereal dress!
These pictures look so charming and feminine with the parasol. I’d never even thought of using a parasol with the Liesl dress, but it’s the perfect accessory!
Don't you think Joy looks an awful lot like Liesl?
Joy did a fabulous job on the details, as you can see on the perfectly stitched ribbon trim. To see more of her lovely creations, visit her wonderful blog!
And here she is on her graduation.
The bodice is perfectly fitted.
After finishing her own dress, she also sewed a darling pink dress for her little sister from the same fabric as her Liesl dress! (The pattern for Liesl’s Dress in Little Girls’s Sizes hadn’t been released at that point yet, so she concocted her own design with a similar fluttery skirt).
Look at that cute rosette!
But that is not the only Edelweiss Patterns inspired dress that Joy sent pictures of. Remember the blue silk 1950s dress I made last fall from Butterick 5556? She also recreated a near replica of my dress using the same silk dupioni and vintage pattern, and she added buttons up the front just as I did. I’m posting a comparison photo below, but I put more pictures of her version over on the Facebook page.
On the left is my dress, and on the right is Joy's beautiful reproduction.
So after seeing these gorgeous dresses that she sewed, I’m feeling very inspired to finish up the current sewing projects I have so I can whip up some vintage dresses to wear this spring! (I won’t say yet what exactly I’m working on, but there are going to be some fabulous 1950s dresses that you’ll be seeing in the near future – and it has to do with a new 1950s pattern that I’m thrilled about using.)
If any of you have made vintage dressses for spring or summer, I’d love for you to share the link so we can all enjoy the pictures!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on March 7, 2012
A Tribute to the Biblical Costumes of Purim
If you have ever read the Book of Esther, the chances are good that you stopped at chapter 5 when the author penned, “On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace…” Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been intrigued by the story of Queen Esther, and I’ve always dreamt of what her “royal robes” would have looked like! Since this story doesn’t give us many details on the fashion history side of things, we don’t have an exact description of her outfits like we might of Princess Catherine’s most recent dress.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew - I love reading Hebrew almost as much as I love to sew!
Since today is the Biblical feast of Purim (described in Esther chapters 9 and 10), I thought I would take a look at how Esther’s gown might have been designed! Of course we can only guess at what that may have been, but somehow I have always invisioned Esther’s gown to be made with:
Silk charmeuse or something flowing
Long, trailing sleeves
Royal purple or vibrant teal fabric
Jewels or beadwork on the bodice
Embroidered gold threads
And lots of layers of silk chiffon fluttering down the skirt!
This painting shows a subdued version of what Esther may have worn. This could have been worn in Bible times by a wealthier woman, but probably not the Queen!
Since she was the queen of the most powerful empire of her day, she must have had the most exquisite gowns and dresses! Many artists have conceptualized what this may have been, but so far I have yet to see any painting or movie which I feel really does her wardrobe justice.
Here a very Middle Eastern gown is almost hidden beneath the garish jewelry and beading.
In 2006 the movie “One Night with the King” was released, and while I was so glad to see a rendition of this story in the theaters, I was disappointed with the storyline and a few of the costumes. A couple of the Esther gowns were lovely and very authentic, but one pink number looked like something a Disney princess would have worn, not to mention a satin design which drew its inspiration straight from the couture fashions of our day. (And I always imagined Esther as being sooo much prettier, too!)
So what costumes out there might pass for “Queen Esther” style? Well, the closest thing that comes to my mind is some of the lovely gowns worn by Olivia de Havilland in “The Adventures of Robin Hood“. While none of these are accurate to the ancient Persian fashions, they at least convey the feeling of a long, regal gown which Esther could have worn.
Here the draped sleeve, metallic fabric, and velvet cape lend a regal air to this ensemble.
This silver and blue gown looks very "Esther-like" to me, perhaps just because it's the traditional Israeli colors.
And while I hardly think Esther would have worn velvet, this burgundy gown with the almost mosaic-looking trim is absolutely stunning and certainly fit for a queen to wear!
What a gorgeous blend of textures and colors!
Perhaps Esther's gown might have been made from something similar to this bias-cut silk charmeuse...
And finally, here is a dress I made from some Middle Eastern silks that seemed to holler, “Queen Esther” as soon as I saw them! While it is far from being something they would have worn in Bible times, (it was in fact made from the Liesl Pattern bodice with shorter sleeves), this luxurious fabric is just what I imagined having worn for her momentous day. Purchased straight from a Middle Eastern silk market, it is a teal silk charmeuse with metallic silver paint over the top. The sleeves and yoke were made from a silk chiffon which was made in the exact same pattern.
Perhaps one of the many layers of Esther's gown could have been made from a silk fabric such as this one.
So while we will never know what exquisite treasures hung in Esther’s wardrobe, I can’t help but imagine what stunning dress she chose for the day she went in to plead with the king – and I can’t help but wonder if her lovely royal robes put the king in a good enough mood to grant her request!
I’d love to hear your thought on Esther’s wardrobe! Have you always envisioned something from reading the Biblical account?